A St. Louis native with her roots now firmly planted in East Nashville, Jesse Lafser spins raw, inspired tales haunted by the muses of Bob Dylan and Gillian Welch but with a richness all her own. Her record, Land in Sight, draws its title from Mark Twain and appearances from local (and blog) favorites Andrew Combs, Spencer Cullum, Evan Hutchings, Mike Rinne and Kristen Weber. We’re thrilled to bring you this beautiful, original piece, “Muses & Canyons,” by Jesse. But first, listen to her single, “Anywhere I go,” below. Better yet – do both at once.
By Jesse Lafser :::
It’s 5:00 on Sunday morning; the muses are awake. More importantly, they are bursting through the front door in an elated drunken clamor.
They are looking for me.
“Don’t they know I haven’t slept in days?” I scoff. They have no manners and I tell them this often.
But they rule me, and like any unobtainable beauty, they ruin me.
Inspiration – when it is here, it is the whipping winds whispering around every bend of the canyon in our souls. And when she is not here, we are dead and dry as the forgotten bones in the desert sun, surrounded only by dust, with no promise of rain.
We, or maybe I should speak only for me, spend our days trying to find this thread of gold in a mountain of red rusty rock. We take this, we take that; we drink this, we drink too much of that. We need to recreate it. The creative surge, the rush of instant thought, the torrent of raw emotion, the stroke of genius.
Some say the fairies visit them while they are hard at work. “Show up for your job and they will come”, they say. Others find these elfin imps, these sirens of the sea, to come and go as they see fit-completely untamable, unable to be scheduled, much less confined to (God-forbid) any constrains of times. Their ways are not our ways and the sooner we accept this, the better.
There are stretches of this life when they will evaporate, vanish, stubbornly refuse to come to us. It happened to me for a dark and frightening couple of years. It will happen again. But I have come to trust the stillness-almost as much as I love the canyon winds. Because the longer the land lays fallow, the greater the harvest that follows. Ebbs and flows, ebbs and flows.
After all, this canyon was once a sea.